X-Cart Gold Plus Editor's Review
Editor's ratingThe editor's rating is calculated based on the average of the following criteria, rated on a
scale of 1 of 5:
- Installation: 5
- Features: 4
- Interface: 4
- Customization: 4
- Help and support: 5
"X-Cart is decidedly simple yet very usable. Thanks to a flexible system, it’s also quite a customizable, off-the-shelf e-commerce solution." - Ahmad Permessur, Editor - HotScripts.com
Pros and cons
- It works well out of the box with minimum configuration.
- It has good integration for several payment and shipping providers.
- It can be adjusted to local markets through tax rates, currency and language settings.
- It has a built-in CMS for creating non-product pages.
- It supports discount codes and gift certificates.
- It stores sensitive customer information via strong encryption and is PCI DSS compliant.
- Theme customization can be tricky if you're not well-versed with web development.
- The administrative backend is a tad disorganized and will take quite some getting used to.
X-Cart is somewhat familiar to me — I used it a couple of years ago. The new X-Cart Gold version (v 4.4.3) showcases the progress the company has made since its debut in the early 00s. It now has even more integrated payment and shipping options along with some extra little things that make the difference.
The application installed in some minutes through a well-documented installation wizard. The option to have the store loaded with sample products proved to be very useful — it gave me a jump-start on better understanding the setup of categories, products and other options. X-Cart doesn't require any special server-side configuration such as PHP extensions or other libraries, and it should work fine in most shared hosting environments.
The store administrative backend has a handful of features that allow you to manage all aspects of your store, from tracking inventory and reviewing orders to managing customers. It also combines some advanced reporting, including a conversation funnel report. I like the built-in modules that are included, especially the affiliate module, which enables you to harness online marketing to further promote your products. If you’d like more bells and whistles for your store, you can purchase additional modules from either the vendor or other developers. Overall, the admin area is pretty decent with great shortcuts and ample helpful tooltips but could be a tad more polished and organized.
In terms of performance, X-Cart is optimized to run fast while consuming minimum system resources through optimized queries and page and image caching. SEO wise, it supports SEO-friendly URLs and provides the ability to add custom META tags for your products and categories. There's unfortunately no XML sitemap generation for search engines included with this application. However, you can buy a module for this purpose.
The front end of the store is streamlined for a great shopping experience. I love the layout of the checkout page, especially the AJAX version. It combines billing, shipping and payment captures in a one-page layout to provide effortless checkout aimed at minimizing cart abandonment rate. In terms of customizing the look and feel of your store, X-Cart doesn't provide any WYSIWYG tools to customize the layout of the template other than some pre-installed skins that can be edited in its administrative backend. For a tighter integration with your existing site, you will need to edit the template files, which are based on Smarty templates and require some knowledge of HTML and CSS.
And there is one enormous positive that I've yet to mention — customer support. The company has a long history of providing excellent customer support. They have also invested in extensive documentation through video tutorials, a knowledgebase, community forums and a wiki.
All in all, X-Cart is a great out-of-the-box shopping cart solution that can power small and large online stores. I'd recommend downloading a free evaluation copy for a test drive first to ensure that it meets your needs before purchasing a license. The evaluation copy comes without any time or functional limitations other than an evaluation mark that will be kept and real sales cannot be closed.
This is an editorial review; not a recommendation. All editorial reviews, some of which we may receive compensation to perform, express our objective findings and experiences with the specific product (including version) under review. The review expressed is of the editor only. Any product claim, statistic, or other representation should be verified with the provider.